FINGAL manager John McInerney was left fuming by a lastgasp penalty decision as his side were held to a draw in last Saturday's relegation scrap between the bottom two clubs.
The away side looked to be heading for a victory to boost their hopes of climbing out of the drop zone when leading 3-2 in the last minute, but then Avoca were awarded a contentious corner and worse was to follow for Fingal when the umpires consulted and instead awarded a penalty stroke for an apparent foot on the line. 'I'm very disappointed at what happened,' McInerney said afterwards, 'but we defended too deep as well when we were ahead and we just have to move on. 'We have YMCA at the airport next weekend and I believe we will win. We're coming back into form, have some good young players and we're beginning to tick.' Perhaps Fingal will also reflect on missed opportunities in the first half, which they dominated, but Avoca rode their luck to go into the break only 1-0 down. The goal was scored by Shane Dempsey who showed great composure to convert a rightwing cross. But Avoca, who were only promoted to the top flight this season, levelled when one of their players chased a lost cause and delivered the ball across, exposing Fingal's non-existent defence at the far post. The away side restored their lead with another fine goal from open play, Marcus O'Brien running onto a ball over the top and crossing for Adrian Sweeney who diverted the ball into the corner of Avoca's goal. Once more opportunities to put two clear goals between the team were passed up as Avoca equalised for a second time from a corner, but then Fingal edged 3-2 in front with one of the goals of the season. Eamonn Bane broke forward from defence and sent the ball at pace across the goalmouth for Paddy Gahan who roofed a shot past the stunned Avoca keeper. The Wicklow men had the last laugh, though, courtesy of that controversial last-gasp penalty stroke, and a relegation play-off appears to be the increasingly likely scenario for Fingal in the weeks ahead unless they can muster a couple of wins quickly. FINGAL: Nigel Grothier, David Bane, Eamonn Bane, Conor Connolly, Andy Marshall, Andrew Shekleton, Simon McKeever, Luke Hayden, Paddy Gahan, Adrian Sweeney, Shane Dempsey. Rotation subs: Chris Neville, Glen Shekleton, Marcus O'Brien, Ben Chillingworth, Alan Davis.